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SermonUnderstanding Bible Passages After the Fall
An all-creatures Bible Message

Understanding Bible Passages After the Fall
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
16 August 2015
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

1 Samuel 8:7-9
1 Kings 2:10-12
1 Kings 3:1-14
Matthew 12:7-8

Understanding Bible passages after the Fall is often seen as being in conflict with the heavenly will of God.
 
God created the heavens and the earth and the Garden of Eden as a paradise where there was no pain or suffering or death.
 
However, following the fall of Adam and Eve from grace when they disobeyed the Lord, all life on earth as recorded in the Bible must be viewed as being in the ways of this fallen and demonic world, which is the reason that many people have difficulty understanding Bible passages in light of the heavenly will of God.
 
Letís take a look at one such passage in the Hebrew text beginning with 1 Kings 2:10-12, and see how we can apply what we know about the heavenly will of God to understanding Bible passages.

10. Then David slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David.
 
11. And the days that David reigned over Israel were forty years: seven years he reigned in Hebron, and thirty-three years he reigned in Jerusalem.
 
12. And Solomon sat on the throne of David his father, and his kingdom was firmly established.
NASB

This is straight forward Bible history, which tells us what happened, but at the same time we need to remember that human kings are not in the heavenly will of God.
 
Note what we are told in 1 Samuel 8:7-9, for it will help us see that even this history is not in the heavenly will of God and why many people have trouble understanding Bible passages.

7. And the LORD said to Samuel, "Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them.

As part of His heavenly will, God wanted to be king over the people, but the people rejected God and instead chose to have human kings over them like the rest of this fallen world.

8. Like all the deeds which they have done since the day that I brought them up from Egypt even to this day ó in that they have forsaken Me and served other gods ó so they are doing to you also.
 
9. Now then, listen to their voice; however, you shall solemnly warn them and tell them of the procedure of the king who will reign over them."
NASB

Not only does this tell us why we have so many problems in the world today, it also tells us that understanding Bible passages about kings and many human leaders is that we must see them as being outside of the heavenly will of God, and thus many of their acts will also be in the corrupt ways of the earth, which means that we are not to follow them when they deviate from the heavenly will of God.
 
Letís continue looking at this Bible passage in 1 Kings 3:1-14Ö

1. Then Solomon formed a marriage alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh's daughter and brought her to the city of David, until he had finished building his own house and the house of the LORD and the wall around Jerusalem.

Think about the fact that Solomon is making an alliance with a pagan king and marrying his daughter who is also most likely pagan, which makes both this alliance and the marriage outside the heavenly will of God.
 
And, note some of the other problemsÖ

2. The people were still sacrificing on the high places, because there was no house built for the name of the LORD until those days.

How are we to understand this verse of Biblical history?
 
Note what we are told in Matthew 12:7-8Ö

7. "But if you had known what this means, 'I desire compassion, and not a sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the innocent. 

God desires us to be loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God, who do everything in their power to free creation from its present corruption, and not add to the earthís corruption by killing innocent animals in a vain attempt to appease God.
 
The only ones who like the shedding of blood are the devil and those who follow him.

8. "For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."
NASB

We are to only worship God in spirit and truth with a repentant heart, and He will faithfully forgive our inadvertent sins.

3. Now Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of his father David, except he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places.

This is not unconditional heavenly love, for if it was, Solomon would not have been sacrificing on the high places, or for that matter, sacrificing at all.
 
Even to this very day we hear people claiming that they love the Lord, but like Solomon, they are still living in and following the corrupt ways of this world, most obvious of which is the killing and eating of animals.
 
If people truly love the Lord, they will also love the whole of Godís creation, and do everything in their power to end its corruption and no longer contribute to it.

4. And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place; Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar.

We can only see this in light of the sin of the pride of life, for even under the Law which could never save the people, the high priest only had one animal sacrifice to atone for the sins of the people.
 
We believe that God did this to limit the carnage, but this sure didnít seem to help with what Solomon did, all of which was counter to the heavenly will of God.
 
So God takes another approach with Solomon.

5. In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream at night; and God said, "Ask what you wish me to give you."

This is an excellent example of why people have trouble understanding Bible passages, particularly these historical events that occurred after the Fall, for we can never forget that Godís creation intent and heavenly will always takes priority over events that take place in this corrupted world.
 
This does not mean that God approved of Solomonís sacrifices or of his worshipping on the high places, for he is trying to mix together the things of God with the corrupt ways of the world, as we see in every religion today.
 
All this is telling us is that Godís lovingkindness reaches out to sinners as well as saints in an effort to bring sinners back into the heavenly will of God.
 
So, how does Solomon respond?

6. Then Solomon said, "Thou hast shown great lovingkindness to Thy servant David my father, according as he walked before Thee in truth and righteousness and uprightness of heart toward Thee; and Thou hast reserved for him this great lovingkindness, that Thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.

This is true, but at the same time, we need to remember that David did some really evil things in his life which God detested; however, when David was confronted by the Lord concerning his evil ways, David truly repented and sought Godís grace and mercy; this is the only reason that Godís lovingkindness was extended to David in this way.

7. And now, O LORD my God, Thou hast made Thy servant king in place of my father David, yet I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in.
 
8. And Thy servant is in the midst of Thy people which Thou hast chosen, a great people who cannot be numbered or counted for multitude.
 
9. So give Thy servant an understanding heart to judge Thy people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Thine?"

Solomon is humbling himself before God and seeking to do everything in the heavenly will of God.

10. And it was pleasing in the sight of the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing.
 
11. And God said to him, "Because you have asked this thing and have not asked for yourself long life, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have you asked for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself discernment to understand justice,
 
12. behold, I have done according to your words. Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you.

This is giving Solomon the ability both to live and rule in the heavenly will of God.

13. And I have also given you what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that there will not be any among the kings like you all your days.

We believe that these riches and honor were given to Solomon as a test to see if he would truly remain in the heavenly will of God all the days of his life, which we know he was unable to do.

14. And if you walk in My ways, keeping My statutes and commandments, as your father David walked, then I will prolong your days."
NASB

These are real life examples of what is happening in our own lives and in the lives of political and corporate leaders.
 
Thus, we also need to realize that a vital part of understanding Bible passages, particularly those about this corrupt world, is that they are not always in the heavenly will of God, but are meant to show us the ways things were and are in this world, and to help us focus upon the ways He desires us to live in the corrupt world so that we can separate ourselves from the evil.
 
We CAN live as peacemaking children of God in His heavenly will.
 
Amen.

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